Club Llangollen canal trip Autumn 2021 by Lindsay Ferguson
What a grand day out 44 of us had on the canal last month when we paddled from Llangollen (at the Pavilion) to The Poachers Pocket pub just across the border into England (about 9.5 miles).
Kayaks of all shapes and sizes, open canoes and paddle boards were there. We made a colourful flotilla that happily made its way along through varied and beautiful countryside, entertaining passers-by and canal boaters along the way.
Early autumn colours peppered the still mostly green trees. Every bend revealed new and lovely scenes. There were long, straight, tree lined stretches where the canal is wide, with large canopies of trees overhead. Elsewhere, narrow stretches with just single file paddling possible. We often pulled in to let canal boats by and friendly greetings were exchanged.
Most fun and delightful of all were the aqueducts and tunnels Two of each! – One aqueduct had only a small wall separating the paddlers from a huge drop! (Whilst you are safe in a kayak, it’s no wonder paddleboarders must not stand up!). In the Whitehouse and Chirk tunnels, headtorches were needed. Accompanying the splashes of paddles and occasional hoots were some echoing bursts of song (keeping us entertained!)
The day was split in two with a stop for lunch and a photo opportunity. It was a lovely chance for the whole group to mingle, recharge and stretch our legs.
The longest pause of the day was when we waited in line behind 3 canal boats as they, in turn, waited for another 4 to pass through one tunnel! But it was great to see such buzz & activity about the canal.
All in all, lots or variety and, even better, lots of good time spent with people happy to be together- old and new friends and acquaintances enjoying the super day out.
There are many people we all have to thank for making this club record of 44 on one trip such a grand day out. Mostly John Fay, of course, who led this trip and Sharon who helped him organise the groups with very detailed spread sheets! Experienced paddlers led small groups, people kindly took others boats and everybody was friendly. What a lovely mix for a delightful, grand day trip out for all!